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sewhite2000

The Exorcist Conventional?

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I thought this was a pretty interesting take on the film and why it may actually be more conventional and sort of out of place amongst the easy riders and raging bulls. Heck, I saw the director's cut when it was in theater some years back, and Friedkin apparently wanted to make it even more conventional by playing up Lee J. Cobb's very old school movie cop character.

https://film.avclub.com/for-all-its-blood-vomit-and-obscenities-the-exorcist-1838894063

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Well, the writer was correct about one thing....

THE EXORCIST did outgross most other movies. And not only money-wise. ;)  But retrospects like this serve no purpose but to rehash old, dismissed perspectives and largely are a "see what you wish" exercise.  Like the bit about Father Merrin feeling he somehow freed the demon to go and possess someone at will.  From the novel, I got the impression, upon Merrin viewing the ancient sculpture of the demon image that he felt an inward realization that the demon( and a one time adversary) was back in "business" and his presence would be required soon. In the movie, you hear the possessed Regan calling Merrin's name when in one of the throes of the demon's fits long before Merrin shows up on the scene.

Sepiatone

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1 hour ago, Sepiatone said:

retrospects like this serve no purpose but to rehash old, dismissed perspectives and largely are a "see what you wish" exercise. 

Hmm well I have no idea what any of those perspectives are, so this take was new to me. I haven't read the book and frankly after three or four viewings of the movie still have no idea what's going on in that opening scene.

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I'm 41 and I did not see THE EXORCIST until some time in the last 10 years, and *forgive me* I thought it was awfully goofy- BUT every time I bring this up, I make people who saw it in first release or soon after mad, the same way someone who was 18 who said to me "JAWS is boring" would make me MAD...so, I GET that it is a film that means A LOT to a lot of people and I tend to step back from piling it on even though i kind of want to...

I WILL SAY, AND I MEAN THIS, THAT EXORCIST II IS HONESTLY NOT THAT BAD AND ACTUALLY HAS SOME INCREDIBLE VISUALS AND TRACKING SHOTS.

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Had I been alive and of movie-going age in 1977, I can see myself in the fifth row MIDNIGHT showing of EXORCIST II shrugging and saying "eh, I liked it better than the first one" as everyone around me threw Milk Duds and Sodas and shoes at the screen and HISSSSSED.

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If you can say that the first one was "awfully goofy", and yet think the second one was "not that bad", then yeah, you're wired differently.

But I seem to recall several people on here voicing dislike of the first movie.

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oh well, the second one isn't good by any means, but I don't think I'd put EXORCIST II in the WORST OF THE WORST category that it used to so often be (a la ISHTAR and such), granted I saw it MANY YEARS after it came out and had zero expectations, so again- sometimes the context in which you watch a movie can make all the difference in the world. 

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33 minutes ago, LawrenceA said:

If you can say that the first one was "awfully goofy", and yet think the second one was "not that bad", then yeah, you're wired differently.

But I seem to recall several people on here voicing dislike of the first movie.

Like my avatar says;  nothing is as bad as something not-so-bad.

As for the first movie:   I found it to be mostly corny and camp (but I find most horror to be that way).   

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30 minutes ago, jamesjazzguitar said:

Like my avatar says;  nothing is as bad as something not-so-bad.

As for the first movie:   I found it to be mostly corny and camp (but I find most horror to be that way).   

Yeah, you were one of the people I was thinking of when I recalled that some around here had voiced disliking the movie in the past. 

My point to Lorna was that if one found the first movie goofy, then I would have expected them to find the second one a veritable Mount Olympus of goofiness. However, I suppose since the first one has a much greater critical reputation, while the second one is often cited as one of the all-time turkeys, it's easier to see someone being disappointed in the first and surprised by the second.

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1 hour ago, LornaHansonForbes said:

oh well, the second one isn't good by any means, but I don't think I'd put EXORCIST II in the WORST OF THE WORST category that it used to so often be (a la ISHTAR and such), granted I saw it MANY YEARS after it came out and had zero expectations, so again- sometimes the context in which you watch a movie can make all the difference in the world. 

I sincerely hope you didn't take my comments to be a knock on you. You're one of my faves around here. 

My comments seem to be engendering a lot of hostility or displeasure from a number of people around here, and I'm not sure why. It's one of the reasons that I don't post as often as I once did (I know, I know - some people wish that it were a lot less). Most likely I'm just very poor at expressing myself. Or maybe it's that many people are only looking for positive reinforcement with no disagreement. Personally, I've been lectured more than once on here by people who say that they're all for disagreement in opinions, but I don't see that being the reality, unless they're the ones doing the disagreeing. I'm not referring to you here, Lorna, but if they bother to read this, the persons to whom I am referring will know who they are. 

There are a few people to whom I will be ill-tempered with because I straight-up just don't like them at all, and a few more who I wish would just go away, but for the most part I attempt to be civil and courteous, and more often than not, tongue-in-cheek and good-humored. Which is how I hope you took my previous comments.

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1 hour ago, LawrenceA said:

Yeah, you were one of the people I was thinking of when I recalled that some around here had voiced disliking the movie in the past. 

My point to Lorna was that if one found the first movie goofy, then I would have expected them to find the second one a veritable Mount Olympus of goofiness. However, I suppose since the first one has a much greater critical reputation, while the second one is often cited as one of the all-time turkeys, it's easier to see someone being disappointed in the first and surprised by the second.

Love this line: "the second one a veritable Mount Olympus of goofiness":    This is true of course but as you note the first one has a mostly positive critical reputation.     It was made to be taken as a serious film,  while the 2nd one,,,, well,,,,   I have to assume the producers knew the type of turkey they were making.

  

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58 minutes ago, jamesjazzguitar said:

Love this line: "the second one a veritable Mount Olympus of goofiness":    This is true of course but as you note the first one has a mostly positive critical reputation.     It was made to be taken as a serious film,  while the 2nd one,,,, well,,,,   I have to assume the producers knew the type of turkey they were making.

I really should break out my Blu ray of the second one and watch it again (it came with the box set). I haven't seen it in probably 25 years or more. Part of it's turkey reputation came from the heightened expectations from the first one's success, and the people assembled to make the second one. Director John Boorman had great acclaim for helming Deliverance, but I guess they forgot that he also made the Zardoz. Adding Richard Burton, James Earl Jones, Louise Fletcher (who'd just won an Oscar for One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest), Ned Beatty, and Paul Henreid brought more prestige, and figuring out a way to bring back Max Von Sydow was also a plus. However, the result was one of the strangest misfires of the decade.

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1 hour ago, LawrenceA said:

I sincerely hope you didn't take my comments to be a knock on you. You're one of my faves around here. 

My comments seem to be engendering a lot of hostility or displeasure from a number of people around here, and I'm not sure why. It's one of the reasons that I don't post as often as I once did (I know, I know - some people wish that it were a lot less). Most likely I'm just very poor at expressing myself. Or maybe it's that many people are only looking for positive reinforcement with no disagreement. Personally, I've been lectured more than once on here by people who say that they're all for disagreement in opinions, but I don't see that being the reality, unless they're the ones doing the disagreeing. I'm not referring to you here, Lorna, but if they bother to read this, the persons to whom I am referring will know who they are. 

There are a few people to whom I will be ill-tempered with because I straight-up just don't like them at all, and a few more who I wish would just go away, but for the most part I attempt to be civil and courteous, and more often than not, tongue-in-cheek and good-humored. Which is how I hope you took my previous comments.

People can be antagonistic and angry for no reason. Your contributions are always appreciated here, Larry.

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55 minutes ago, LawrenceA said:

Director John Boorman had great acclaim for helming Deliverance, but I guess they forgot that he also made the Zardoz. Adding Richard Burton,

Wasn't Burton spouting some jibberish line in that one?

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2 hours ago, LawrenceA said:

Yeah, you were one of the people I was thinking of when I recalled that some around here had voiced disliking the movie in the past. 

My point to Lorna was that if one found the first movie goofy, then I would have expected them to find the second one a veritable Mount Olympus of goofiness. However, I suppose since the first one has a much greater critical reputation, while the second one is often cited as one of the all-time turkeys, it's easier to see someone being disappointed in the first and surprised by the second.

One of the key differences in Exorcist II's favour, I feel, was the fact that Linda Blair had really "blossomed" since the first film.

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15 minutes ago, cigarjoe said:

Wasn't Burton spouting some jibberish line in that one?

He did say: " Pazuzu, king of the evil spirits of the air, help me to find Kokumo!"

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Just now, LawrenceA said:

He did say: " Pazuzu, king of the evil spirits of the air, help me to find Kokumo!"

Lol. Had to be a gigantic comedown from Shakespearean lines 

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It set the standard for thick, gooey projectile vomit in mainstream Hollywood movies.

Bllllaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa.

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The first film is also filled with infinitely-quotable lines. I don't know how many times I've greeted a friend with this Exorcist quote - "Your mother sucks **** in Hell, (insert friend's name)!"

"The power of Christ compels you!" was also a frequently repeated chant during marathon drinking sessions. 

Or telling a soon-to-be-traveling friend, "You're gonna die up there", followed by whizzing on the floor.

Good times!

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I imagine the first Exorcist movie might seem "campy" and "goofy" to someone young enough to have been rendered desensitized by dozens of sloppy and poorly made "copycat" type horror flicks that followed and have not seen the original until years later.  Certainly, if memory serves, nobody was laughing and thinking it "goofy" when it came out. And like other movies covering peripheral religious practices( THE OMEN, for one) or any other unconventional approach to religious dogma( THE LAST TEMPTATION OF CHRIST) churches too, weren't thinking the movie as "campy" or "goofy" and raised quite a ruckus about it. Some even went off the rails far enough to claim the movie "glorified" Satan worship! :o

On a lighter note, I knew a few folks who wouldn't/couldn't eat pea soup for a few years after seeing the movie.  I myself for example:   At the time, my 1st daughter, then going on two years old, was enduring a physical syndrome in which, when being fed a more "solid" type of baby food would suddenly gag and then vomit everything she ate previously that day.  When her Mother and I finally went to see THE EXORCIST and when the first scene of Linda Blair shooting that projectile vomit into the face of Father Karras came on, I disgustedly said, "Damn, we could have stayed HOME to see this kind of thing!"  :D   One thing to remember too, is that the movie did have an impact on popular culture that went beyond movie making styles.  Many people did get more serious about their own religious practices while others saw demon possession everywhere they looked. And sadly there were several cases in which parents decided their children were also demon possessed when in fact they were just autistic or suffering from hyperactivity or schizophrenia, and received proper treatment far later than what would have been preferred. Now, I can't remember who said it, but I do recall an old Maxim:

"Enlightenment only lasts until some fools blow out the flame."  ;)  I always took it that the "fools" in this case were either civic or religious leaders.

Sepiatone

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On 10/19/2019 at 4:28 PM, LawrenceA said:

I really should break out my Blu ray of the second one and watch it again (it came with the box set). I haven't seen it in probably 25 years or more. Part of it's turkey reputation came from the heightened expectations from the first one's success, and the people assembled to make the second one. Director John Boorman had great acclaim for helming Deliverance, but I guess they forgot that he also made the Zardoz

I think that covers it--Studios were ready to give a LOT of big mainstream projects to Boorman based on Deliverance's reviews and box-office, and probably hadn't seen enough of Zardoz to judge on whether he'd be good at inserting fantasy into his stories.  It was another case of studios thinking a sequel was audience-proof enough to give to anybody, so they decided to give an off-center director a shot at the big time...Sort of like Marvel did, giving that Thor sequel to the director of "Jojo Rabbit".

As for the first Exorcist, most people forget that William Friedkin was the go-to Action (and book-based Action Blockbuster) director at the time, after his big discovery two years earlier on The French Connection.  Which, of course, led to the big confusion that sank Friedkin's Sorcerer in 1977, the "Wages of Fear" remake that had everyone expecting more wizards and demons, and only getting dirty rain-soaked truck drivers in South America.

In Hollywood--and sometimes audiences--you're not only as good as your last film, you are your last film.

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I always thought that there was something creepy and unsettling about Linda Blair's Regan MacNeil.

Before the possession.

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Truly ERIC:

I liked SORCERER.  Wasn't expecting anything in particular though.  Just like I never went crazy over Jimi Hendrix playing guitar with his teeth and never expected to see him do that every time I saw him in concert. 

Sepiatone

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